Jewish students at Penn

University of Pennsylvania

#2, overall score 84.33/100

Fun Fact:

During the third quarter of football games, students throw toast onto the field when singing the lyrics “Here’s a toast to dear old Penn.” The bread is cleaned up with a special toast zamboni.

Why should Jewish students attend Penn? The University of Pennsylvania is one of the most rich, dynamic and stimulating places you can imagine. Penn students are incredibly smart, creative and entrepreneurial, but they also like to have fun. Whatever your interest or your future trajectory, Penn has the faculty, staff and peer network to help you grow into the person you want to be. In terms of Jewish life, it doesn’t really get better than Penn. Hillel is strong, diverse, inclusive and offers so many different ways to engage with Jewish life whether you’re a Hillel regular or never enter the building. More than that, Penn Hillel’s mission isn’t to get you to join our club, it’s to help make sure that while you’re in college, you can figure out what Judaism means to you as an emerging adult away from your family and hometown. The four years on campus are a critical time of self-authorship, and Penn Hillel is here to help you in whatever form it takes. -— Rabbi Mike Uram, executive director, Penn Hillel

The Orthodox Jewish community at the University of Pennsylvania is the most vibrant and exciting community of its kind on any college campus in America. It offers a complete array of services to Penn students and to the local community, including social activities; learning opportunities; daily, Shabbat and holiday davening, and social service programs. — Rabbi Yaakov & Racheli Taubes, OU-JLIC educators

ACADEMICS Score: 30/30

  • Score: 30/30
  • Acceptance rate: 9%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 6:1
  • Jewish Studies major: Yes
  • Israel Studies major: No

FINANCES

  • Tuition: $51,464
  • Room & board costs: $14,536
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $33,460
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: Yes

CAMPUS INFORMATION

  • Location: Philadelphia
  • Region: Mid-Atlantic
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 9,726
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 1,900
  • Jewish population share: 20%
  • Student origin: 19% in-state / 81% out-of-state
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Quakers
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Void, Venus

ISRAEL Score: 17/20

  • Score: 17/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 110
  • School-approved study abroad program in Israel: Yes
  • Israel-related clubs: PIPAC, J Street U, TAMID
  • BDS resolution: Never introduced

JEWISH LIFE Score: 37.33/40

  • Score: 37.33/40
  • Hillel: Penn Hillel
  • Chabad: Lubavitch House at the University of Pennsylvania
  • OU-JLIC: Yes
  • Meor: Yes
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPI,ΣAM, ZBT, TEP
  • Jewish sororities: SDT
  • Jewish dorm: Rodin College House
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2016: 0
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? Yes
  • Active Hillel clubs: 30
  • Hillel Friday night services: 6
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 475
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 26 (7 Orthodox, 11 Conservative, 8 Reform)
  • Eruv: Yes
  • Most famous Jewish alumnus: Ivanka Trump
  • Most unique/noteworthy Hillel club: Moral Voices Fellowship for Rwanda is a year-long inter-faith and interethnic dialogue program that culminates in a 10-day trip to Rwanda to volunteer at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.
  • Where do Jewish students come from? All over the world.
  • Kosher food details: Kosher dining is perfectly tied into the university dining plan so that any student can eat at Hillel anytime using a “meal swipe,” “dining dollars,” cash or credit. There are also kosher sandwiches and other grocery-type items available in different dining areas throughout campus.

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